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Newsletter of the South African Embassy in Berlin

Foreword by H.E. Ambassador Phumelele Stone Sizani

Dear readers, friends of South Africa,

June has been a busy month this year as you will be able to see from the many articles on the Mission's activities below. Besides the various very successful business meetings, to me the visit by the German International School in Johannesburg's U14 Soccer team stands out as a great highlight, not least because this inspiring meeting took place during our traditional Youth Month, but also because I was left with the impression that this meeting is bound to bear more fruit in the future.

July not only brings the G20 Summit in Germany's Hansestadt Hamburg, a much anticipated meeting at which South Africa's President Jacob Zuma will participate, along with several cabinet Ministers, all with the objective of promoting and strengthening the interests of the African continent and of the Global South. The month of July is also dedicated to the memory and legacy of our beloved Madiba, whose 99th birthday will be celebrated on Mandela Day on the 18th of July. Earlier this year, the Mandela Foundation launched a campaign aimed at preparing the Centenary Celebration of our late former President at the same time next year! I take this opportunity to call upon all German institutions and organisations who share with us the great respect and love for Madiba, to join us in our effort to  organise a celebration worthy of the man and his life achievements!

As always, we have put together news and activities involving South Africans in Germany, as well as selected news from South Africa that we deem relevant for our audience here in germany.

I hope you enjoy the read!

With warmest regards

Ambassador Stone Sizani
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa to the Federal Republic of Germany


South Africa's President Jacob Zuma to Attend G20 Summit in Hamburg

President Jacob Zuma will travel to Hamburg, Germany to attend the upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit that is scheduled to take place from 07 to 08 July 2017. South Africa is one of the 19 member countries of the Group of 20 (G20) which, in addition to the European Union (EU), the 20th member, have been meeting regularly since 1999 to discuss global economic policy coordination (...) South Africa’s participation in the G20 is guided by our national interestS and the primacy of the African Agenda. Central to South Africa’s national agenda is Outcome 11 (“creating a better South Africa and contributing to a better Africa and a better world”). South Africa therefore seeks to use its participation in the G20 to promote and strengthen the interests of Africa and of the South, on the understanding that, if managed carefully, the G20 does present meaningful opportunities for advancing much-needed global governance reforms and orienting the international development agenda.

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Home Affairs Minister Mkhize Attends Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Germany

The Minister of Home Affairs, Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize, attended the 10th GFMD, held from 28 to 30 June 2017, in Berlin, Germany. The working theme for this high-level debate was: Towards a Global Social Contract on Migration and Development. The theme sought attainment of a global social contract on how to approach migration for development and jobs. It was attended by high-level and senior government policy-makers and officials and ministers of foreign affairs/home affairs/interior who are active in the area of migration and development.

Minister Mkhize says the GFMD has been identified as a priority forum to advance South Africa's national interest and influence on the international migration agenda. "The GFMD presents an opportunity for South Africa to compare notes with other stakeholders, including governments, academia as well as civil-society organisations on how to best manage international migration securely and effectively with a view to fostering the developmental agenda," she said.

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President Zuma Sends Condolences to the Federal Republic of Germany Following Former Chancellor Kohl's Passing

The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, has on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa conveyed a message of condolences to the Government and people of Germany following the passing on of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. President Zuma recalled former Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s momentous role in the reunification of Germany during the end of the Cold War. He will also be fondly remembered in South Africa for his invaluable support for South Africa’s own transition after 1994, especially also during his highly successful Official Visit to the country in September 1995, during which he was also accorded the honour of addressing the South African Parliament, as well as during the highly successful State Visit by former President Nelson Mandela to Germany in May 1996.

President Zuma said the people of South Africa share the loss of the German people and stand with them in this time of grief and mourning.


Visit of Bafana Bafana U14 of the German School Johannesburg

Last Tuesday, 18 pupils of the German School of Johannesburg's U14 Bafana Bafana soccer team visited the Mission, paying a courtesy visit to Ambassador Sizani who received them with great pride. Pride to see bright and successful young South Africans - some with German roots - telling him with great excitement about their German experience. Pride also, because the school is not just any school - in 2016, the Joburg German School received the prestigious Award of the best Foreign German School worldwide and was honoured by then Foreign Minister Steinmeier during a Gala event in Berlin. Facilitated by Mr Reimann and his Rainbow agency, the meeting took place in the framework of a European tour of the school's soccer team, which first took them to the "Ruhrgames", to the Europe School in Soest and to the much anticipated Berlin visit. Staying in host families most of the time, they are now heading to Neuzelle in Brandenburg before playing the Hamburger SV U14 team and - as the final sport highlight of the trip - participate in the Gothia Cup, the world’s largest and most international youth football tournament.

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Inside the South African Mission: Farewell to Dear Colleagues

Time to say goodbye again! Another 4-years cycle has come to an end which means that Ambassador Sizani and Minister Plenipotentiary Cassimjee in the name of the entire Mission had to say goodbye to two very important and respected Transferred Officials - Counsellor Political Feziwe Madikizela and Attaché Vuyiseka Manxiwa. As always, it was a very emotional ceremony during which colleagues from all departments expressed their gratitude for having had the privilege to work with the two diplomats, as well as for their friendship and support during their term OF DUTY. Both Mrs Madikizela and Manxiwa expressed their happiness of returning home after four years while at the same time being sad to leave friends and a country which had welcomed them warmly despite the long and cold winter... Instead of saying goodbye, South Africans say "so long" in anticipation of forthcoming reunions...

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Business Trip to Frankfurt

Minister Plenipotentiary Cassimjee accompanied by the Foreign Economic Representative Mr Jacob Moatshe undertook a business trip to Frankfurt on 20-21 June 2017. On the busy agenda was the attendance of the Award Ceremony of the Hessian Export Prize 2017 - under the patronage of Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development -, meetings with the Hesse State Chancellery to discuss further cooperation possibilities between Hessen and South Africa, as well as meetings with South Africa’s key stakeholders based in Frankfurt and a visit to Heraeus, a precious metal and technology (catalytic converters) company with two plants in South Africa (PE and Boksburg).

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Business Meets Africa – SA Mission Participates in Networking Conference at the Trade Chamber in Chemnitz

On 13 June 2017 the 4th "Business Meets Africa" meeting took place at IHK in Chemnitz. Almost 200 participants had registered, amongst which representatives from 13 African countries and many businesses from the region of Saxony. The SA Mission was represented by Minister Plenipotentiary Adv Cassimjee and a team of trade officers from Berlin and the Consulate General in Munich. The Key Note Speaker, German Federal Minister for Cooperation and Development, Dr Gerd Müller, presented his "Marshallplan with Africa" which, as he stated, should be benefitting for both African and the German economies. Many German companies stated their longstanding commitment to invest in different African countries and used the opportunity to meet partners, make new contacts or get relevant and reliable information about business opportunities. (Picture by © Wolfgang Schmidt/ Bildreporter)

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Social Activities Inside the Mission

Being a diplomat in a Mission abroad offers many good things, but one also has to bear the burden of being away from home. This is why social activities are so important in the four-year postings. Get to know the country and its culture and also one's colleagues and partners. Here are some impressions of a trip to Rügen with Honorary Consul Eymer, the annual Military and Diplomatic Golf Day bringing the military and diplomatic representatives in Berlin together with business and other stakeholders and which our Minister Plenipotentiary attended, as well as a guided visit of the Reichstag for the Mission's Transferred Officials.

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South Africa Assumes SADC Chair

South Africa will assume the role of Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in August 2017, taking over from the Kingdom of Swaziland. The country will host the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government from 09th – 20th August 2017 in Pretoria. The summit will take place under the theme: “Partnering with the private sector in developing industry and regional value-chains”. The summit, which will take place on 19 – 20 August, will be preceded by the Senior Officials’ Meeting on 11 – 14 August, Ministerial Meeting on 16 August and the Double Troika on 18 August. All the meetings will take place at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), O R Tambo Building in Pretoria.

Members  of  the  media  are  invited  to  apply  for  accreditation  by  filling  out  the  form  in  the  following link:

Garden Route Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO

The Garden Route in South Africa has been added, along with other areas around the world, to UNESCO’s list of biosphere reserves. South African Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, welcomed the news. “The positive response to the application to declare the Garden Route a biosphere reserve is most encouraging, not just for us as a country, but also for the people of the region,” she said. “The Garden Route, one of South Africa’s prime tourism regions, is an area rich in terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems where conservation of the rich biodiverse region is ably reconciled with sustainable use practices.”

It is the ninth reserve in the country. Sites are nominated by national governments and are voted for by the MAB council, but they remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states in which they are located. The status of such sites is internationally recognised. The official launch of the Garden Route biosphere reserve will take place later in the year.

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South African Geologist Wins International Science Award

Geologist Tshiamo Legoale has made history by being the first South African to be crowned the FameLab International Champion for a project which researched a method of using wheat to harvest gold from mine dumps. The 27-year old Geologist successfully competed against 31 science communicators from across the world and was crowned the 2017 FameLab International Champion and Audience Vote Winner. Tshiamo works for the national mineral research organisation Mintek. In her winning talk on phytomining, she described how plants can absorb specific metals from the environment into their tissues and how this process can be used to literally ‘harvest’ gold from wheat.

"I was very humbled by the opportunity to come here for the very first time in my life to meet wonderful people and extremely good scientists. I got to hear what everybody else in the world is doing. FameLab has been an amazing journey from the beginning to the end."

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Dr Ncumisa Jilata is Africa’s Youngest Neurosurgeon

At the age of 29, Mthatha-born Dr Ncumisa Jilata has become Africa’s youngest neurosurgeon following her Fellowship graduation in Durban on 18 May 2017. Her milestone achievement was highlighted by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in an address to the National Assembly on 31 May. Dr Ncumisa Jilata completed her Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Mthatha’s Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in 2009. Her completed fellowship for the Council of Neurosurgeons of South Africa in 2017 means she is now the youngest neurosurgeon in Africa, and one of only five black female brain surgeons in South Africa. She hopes that her landmark achievement will inspire more female medical students to add to much-needed surgical expertise on the continent. #youthmonth

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Ilanga Festival 2017 in Hamburg - Celebrating Mandela's Rainbow Nation

For the fourth time, Hamburg's South African community and friends are organising this wonderful festival, showcasing South Africa's diversity and artistic creativity! On Saturday 22 July 2017, four days after Mandela Day which would have been Nelson Mandela's 99th birthday, Ilanga Festival intends to celebrate Mandela's legacy of a true RainboW Nation at Musikpavillion Planten un Blomen in Hamburg. As in previous years, there will be a forum for organisations battling for Human Rights, for children in distress, for ecological justice and refugees. Guests of the festival will be, amongst others, Nomazulu Thata, Pastor Rolf Martin as well as the Global Network Organisation CitiZen of the World.

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SA Arts: Thabo Thindi - "A 3rd World Soul in a 1st World Pandemonium"

In his upcoming exhibition at Gallery EINUNDZWANZIGZWÖLF (Lausitzer Platz 1, 10997 Berlin) the South African indie photographer and filmmaker, Thabo Thindi describes the existence of a third world soul in the pandemonium of a first world, a place of turmoil and chaos. Questions of social change, social justice and the role of the artist linked with questions of exile, migration and belonging are central themes in his work which he is exhibiting in three complementary parts. In a series of video interviews entitled "Exile Faces" Thabo Thindi portrays South Africans of his parents’ generation who rebelled against the apartheid regime and were forced into exile. In the photographic series "A 3rd World Soul in a 1st World Pandemonium" the artist documents himself and kindred spirits on intensive forays through the streets of Berlin. Finally, in the photographic series "Home as Tourist" he addresses the feeling of having become a foreigner in South Africa and examines his perception of “home”, how it has changed and been stereotyped.

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Being Queer in South Africa - Discussion & Concert, 26.07.2017, 19:00, Südblock (Berlin-Kreuzberg)

Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation organises a discussion forum on "Being Queer in South Africa", followed by a concert of the international LGBTIQA music group Rainbow Riots. The discussion will question “How different are the experiences made by Black and white people with queer identities in South Africa? What does this mean for social struggles? Can there be a queer emancipation today without addressing issues of the past?

Guests: Umlilo, Whyt Lyon, Missy Firefly (Stash Crew) and members of the LGBTIQA artists collective Rainbow Riots

The discussion will be followed by a concert of Rainbow Riots. Rainbow Riots is the title of a recently released album (House of Wallenberg) by queer artists from all over the world.

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South Africa in Germany: Tara Deacon’s Artworks Embrace a Naive Gaze

Tara Deacon is a South African illustrator and designer based in Berlin and often dreams of the South African Bushveld. Her ink, gouache and watercolour illustrations embrace a simplicity and earnestness through their subject matter, solid planes of colour and painterly brush marks. This collection of work, "It’s in my Naive Nature", was produced between the period of June and September and explores overlooked scenes from daily life.

“'It’s in my Naive Nature' is the visual journey and story of the naivety I often feel and experience. I wanted to explore and investigate this naivety and innocence I often regarded as problematic and shameful, and embrace it in a body of work that allowed this to flourish in what I regard as truly being part of my nature. Everyday scenes, feelings and observations that I would have previously overlooked and suppressed, slowly found their way into my paintings and illustrations. Staying true to my simple, scattered and childlike nature that I now proudly embrace, my work focuses on nature, people, color and other found objects and treasures,” she says.

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Save the Date: Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya Open Air Concert at Wassermusik on 4 August 2017, Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Save the date for the Wassermusik concert of legendary South African Jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya on Friday, 4 August 2017, from 7pm, Open-Air on the roof terrace of Haus der Kulturen der Welt followed by the screening of the South African feature film "Cold Harbour" - Waterproof – in case of rain concerts in the exhibition hall, film in the Auditorium. Pioneer of South African Jazz: With more than 50 albums from Township Jive to classical music, the pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, alias Dollar Brand, has shaped the history of his country’s music like no other. Almost 60 years ago, together with Hugh Masekela, he founded the Jazz Epistles in South Africa, one of the most important bands playing a highly political Jazz during the rule of the Apartheid state. The exceptional musician, who began his professional career at the age of 15, is accompanied by his septet Ekaya, founded in 1983.

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Save the Date: Deon Meyer Readings in Germany

Famous South African crime author Deon Meyer will be introducing his new book "Fever" to the German audience in October this year. In Berlin, a reading will be organised by Miss Marple Bookstore in the Bristol Bar at Hotel Kempinski. A former journalist, advertising copywriter, Internet manager and brand strategist, Deon Meyer has published thirteen novels and two short story collections. His books have been published in more than 40 countries world-wide, and one (Dead Before Dying) was turned into the international TV series Cape Town. "Fever", which in October will be published in German by Aufbau Verlag, is "a powerful exploration of humanity at its best and worst and bears favourable comparison with landmarks of the genre such as Stephen King’s The Stand and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road" (John Coates in the Express, UK).

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Please help the South African Mission keep track of South African citizens currently residing in Germany. By voluntarily registering, you do assist the mission to determine the number of citizens living in the country and to be able to contact you and your family in South Africa in the event of an evacuation, natural disaster, family emergency etc. Furthermore, your contact details (which will be handled in a strictly confidential way) enable the Embassy to provide you with information related to Embassy events, registration for general election, etc. |+| go to register form


The Newsletter of the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa features Embassy activities and other South African events in Germany.

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